Written by Francis Mizner
Only five days removed from its loss to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Penn State finds its basketball program in shambles.
In the past 24 hours, the program lost its second-highest scorer in Seth Lundy, who will forgo his final year of eligibility to enter his name into the NBA Draft. Juniors Dallion Johnson and Caleb Dorsey have decided to enter the transfer portal in search of a new home. Lastly, head coach Micah Shrewsberry agreed to become the next head coach of Notre Dame.
Senior Seth Lundy has been a four-year veteran for the Nittany Lions. This year Lundy averaged 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He was 53.3% from the field and shot 40% from three, which ranked second in the Big Ten and 40th nationally.
Lundy had a phenomenal Big Ten tournament where he scored 17 ppg and was selected to the All-tournament team. With Lundy playing his best ball on the biggest stage, it is no surprise he would take advantage of the attention and take his shot at the pros.
Dallion Johnson played in 23 games this season, averaging 8.8 minutes and 2.0 ppg. Johnson’s played minimal minutes in the guard-heavy locker room, but you would have to think Johnson would have a larger role next year.
As for Dorsey, he started the season in the starting five and played alongside freshman Kebba Njie in the post but would eventually lose that spot and his minutes rather quickly. Standing at 6’7,” Dorsey was one of the few big men that the Nittany Lions had; however, it seems Shrewsberry felt Njie and transfer Mikey Henn were more effective.
The team losing second-year head coach Micah Shrewberry to Notre Dame was the most crucial loss. The Indiana native signed with the Fighting Irish for seven years. The move makes sense for Shrewsberry as he was born in Indiana, five of his seven coaching jobs were in Indiana, and the program itself is arguably better in terms of facilities, recruits, and NIL deals.
In just his two years with Penn State, Shrewsberry turned Penn State Basketball into a tournament team. This year he brought the team to a 23-14 record, with a 10-10 conference record. With the team having to practically win out with still ten games to go in the regular season, Shrewsberry was able to rally his guys and go 9-1 with two late-game winners.
Entering the Big Ten tournament, Penn State was the no. 10 seed, forcing them to face #2 seed Northwestern and #3 seed Indiana on their route to the tournament championship game against #1 seed Purdue, their first appearance since 2011. Despite being down at 17 at one point, they were able to come back within two; before failing to get a shot off with seconds left on the clock.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment in Coach Shrewsberry’s short tenure was making the NCAA tournament which would be the first time for the program since 2011, and a first-round victory over #7 Texas A&M, which hadn’t happened since 2001 when the team made it to the sweet sixteen.
With Shrewsberry gone, it wouldn’t be surprising if he took some of his recruits, including Braeden Shrewsberry, who committed to Penn State earlier this year.
The future of Penn State basketball has a lot of uncertainty surrounding it, and where the school goes from here is a mystery. The only thing that can be said is that this past year Penn State basketball had a lot of success and made history. Hopefully, this recent success can attract coaches and players willing to create a winning culture here at State College.